Monday, January 28, 2013

Talkin' Heads #45

TITLE: 1000 Sleepless Nights
GENRE: YA Contemporary

Sawyer is a female Navy corpsman in Afghanistan. A Marine from her unit developed a rash while on a recon mission but can’t tell anyone where he’s been so lies that he was with a woman and may have caught something.

Tahk cupped his hands around his essential parts. “Something’s wrong.”

“You bet there’s something wrong. You’re standing in front of me without pants on. There are doctors here. Male doctors.” I found a spot on the ceiling that suddenly become very interesting.

“I don’t want anyone to know. This is so bad. I got a girl back home.” His voice sounded desperate.

“I don’t want to know!” I leveled my stare at Tahk, realizing what he was implying. “What exactly do you think your problem is?”

“I don’t know, Doogs.” Despite his dark complexion a touch of red had crept into his cheeks.

“But what do you think?” I insisted.

“It was only one time. You know it’s been so long and that’s what she’s here for. It’s her job.” Tahk emphasized the word job as if it would erase his infidelity.

“Dammit Tahk! You think you caught something from a prostitute?”

“Jesus Doogs when you say it like that it sounds really bad.”

“It is really bad you idiot! You could get sent home for this. I can’t treat you for a venereal disease, we’re in the middle of nowhere fricken Afghanistan. There isn’t a Rite Aid on the corner. Seriously Tahk, how many times have you been deployed? And now. Now is the time to be unfaithful. With a lady every Marine within ten miles of this COP has slept with. Aren’t you suppose to live by a higher creed?”


  1. I really like this one. The dialogue feels natural to me. Good job!

  2. Good job! Laughed out loud at the "when you say it like that" line.

  3. I think you can omit this line: “But what do you think?” I insisted. and just continue with the other character's dialogue after it's shown that his cheeks redden (good detail).

    You might want to switch up something instead of having both characters say similar "I don't want anyone to know" and Doogs "I don't want to know!" Actually, if you take out that second occurance, and just start the line with "I leveled my stare," that works.

    (Also, as a side note is this more New Adult than YA considering they're Marines? Being that you have to be over 18 to enlist?)

  4. I was thinking the same thing as Stephsco; this seems a bit mature for the YA I've read.

  5. Honestly, the dialogue seems pretty good to me. Nothing stands out.

    However, the scene itself is not very believable. The military has long known that if it discharged soldiers for getting VD, they would soon be out of soldiers. They would fix him up, and he would not worry about the mission. He would just tell the doc his problem without the where's and whens.

  6. I enjoyed this. The dialogue flowed well; and sounded pretty natural. But I also think it may be too mature for YA.

  7. This is not YA; maybe adult fiction is more apt

    Also, if she's a corpsman, why would she look at the ceiling? She's used to seeing men naked.

    Wouldn't him not wanting anyone to know include the corpsman?

    What was he implying? A little of her inner dialogue would help clarify this.

    Why would he call her Doogs? Doesn't sound military to me.

    A corpsman would just give him antibiotics. Doesn't ring true.

    Maybe do some research on what a corpsman does and what kind of issues a female faces. Lately, there's been a lot in the news about how female soldiers are mistreated and abused by male soldiers.

  8. I agree with the criticisms above. Also, "venereal disease" isn't used anymore, the term is "sexually transmitted infection" or "STI." And corpsmen are used to Marines getting such diseases, unless Sawyer has a high view of Tahk. Unfortunately, this reads like what a high schooler imagines what the military is like.